July is a popular month within the sustainable living realm for its the world known Plastic Free July challenge month, which is celebrating it’s 10th year anniversary.
Last week I attended an online presentation hosted by Plastic Pollution Coalition that included the founder of Plastic Free July, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz. She discussed how there are still actions we can take during the midst of COVID and a major social justice movement. One thing that stuck with me was the emphasis of people focusing on the mindset and what we can do. To me this means folks should be focusing more on the mindfulness aspect of plastic free living and less on spending tons of money.
Dictionary.com defines mindfulness as “the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something“. Unfortunately, when some people think about plastic-free they think about all the neat ‘trinkets’ aligned with plastic-free living. Where, in my opinion, the mindfulness aspect is the driving force in one’s consistent and constant plastic-free actions. Take for example, my awareness to bring a reusable bag with me has an higher impact than the type of bag I bring (which coincidentally I made out of an old t-shirt or was part of some conference freebie).
Our awareness is what pushes us to take the needed actions to demand community/governmental policy changes, and it doesn’t really embark on our personal finances. For the most part, we can freely access information on the history of plastic pollution, current policies/regulations, and organizations making a difference via the internet, social media, or books.
Before I get folks yelling at me – I’m not saying to not purchase non-plastic items. You do have to buy items as you reduce your plastic usage, but do it from the perspective of what is needed the most. I personally timed my initial plastic-free swaps when something was running out. The toothbrush was perfectly timed with our traditional new toothbrush routine. Additionally, I always budget for any major plastic-free swap and work with within my own financial abilities. Remember to do what you can with what you have!
PS – You can participate in my Plastic Free weekly bingo challenges on Instagram.